The Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington is where trainers Ciaron Maher & David Eustace expect to see improvement from their Group 1 winner.
Smokin' Romans leapt to prominence last spring capturing the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington before being sent out favourite when finishing seventh to Durston in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Maher and Eustace then sent Smokin' Romans onto the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in which he finished seventh to stablemate Gold Trip.
Smokin' Romans made his return in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Sandown on February 11 in which the gelding finished eighth behind Pounding, an opponent on Saturday, but the race was an important pipe-opener for the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 25.
Eustace said he does not see Saturday's 1600m contest being run as fast as the Carlyon where Pounding broke the 1600m record.
"They went very quick, and he never got a chance to travel, we felt, and I don't think that is making any excuses for him. He wasn't able to get into a rhythm, but he should be able to do that on Saturday. I don't think they will go as quick, and he should be a little bit more effective."
"Having said that, he needs to improve, and to have come on, which we think he has, and then he'll head to the Australian Cup after that, hopefully."
Eustace said the stable believes Smokin' Romans has come back as well for his autumn campaign as he showed with his form in the spring.
"He's showing all the right signs that he has come back. His trackwork and his trials were nice and sharp before his first run, so we'll see what he does Saturday."